best trail running podcasts


Trail running has emerged as one of the most exhilarating and adventurous outdoor activities in recent years. With its combination of challenging terrains, breathtaking scenery, and the thrill of conquering nature’s obstacles, it’s no wonder that more and more individuals are lacing up their running shoes to explore the trails. As the popularity of trail running continues to soar, so does the demand for valuable resources and insights to enhance the overall experience. That’s where trail running podcasts come into play.

In today’s digital age, podcasts have become a go-to medium for entertainment, education, and inspiration. Trail running podcasts, specifically tailored to the needs and interests of trail runners, offer a wealth of information, tips, and stories that can elevate your running journey. Whether you’re a seasoned trail runner seeking to improve your performance or a novice looking for guidance on getting started, the best trail running podcasts have something for everyone.

But what makes a trail running podcast truly great? Is it the expertise of the hosts, the quality of production, or the diversity of guests? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore these questions and more as we delve into the world of trail running podcasts. We will analyze the key elements that make a podcast stand out, highlight the top trail running podcasts worth tuning into, and provide you with valuable insights on how to choose the right podcast for your needs.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey of knowledge and inspiration, join us as we uncover the best trail running podcasts that will enhance your trail running experience and help you reach new heights in your athletic endeavors. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of the podcast landscape, and you’ll be equipped with the tools to make an informed decision on which podcasts to add to your playlist. Let’s lace up our virtual shoes and hit the trail of trail running podcasts!

What Makes a Trail Running Podcast Great?

When it comes to trail running podcasts, not all are created equal. The best trail running podcasts possess a unique blend of characteristics that set them apart from the rest. These podcasts go beyond simply discussing running techniques or sharing personal anecdotes. They provide a comprehensive experience that educates, motivates, and entertains trail runners of all levels.

One of the key elements that make a trail running podcast great is the presence of engaging hosts with expertise in the field. These hosts are not only passionate about trail running but also possess a deep understanding of the sport. They bring their personal experiences, knowledge, and insights to the table, creating a connection with the listeners and establishing credibility. Whether it’s sharing training tips, recounting race experiences, or providing expert advice, hosts who have walked the trails themselves can offer invaluable guidance to aspiring and seasoned trail runners alike.

Moreover, the best trail running podcasts feature a diverse range of guests. From elite athletes who have conquered the most challenging races to renowned coaches and experts in the field, these guests bring a fresh perspective and a wealth of knowledge to the podcast episodes. They share their stories, strategies, and insights, allowing listeners to gain a deeper understanding of the sport and learn from the best in the business. The variety of guests ensures that each episode offers a unique and valuable perspective, keeping the content fresh and engaging.

In addition to the hosts and guests, the production quality of a trail running podcast plays a significant role in its success. Clear audio, seamless editing, and well-paced episodes contribute to a pleasant listening experience. A podcast with high production standards demonstrates the dedication and professionalism of the hosts, making it easier for listeners to stay engaged and absorb the information being shared.

The topics covered in a trail running podcast are also crucial in determining its greatness. The best podcasts explore a wide range of subjects, catering to the diverse interests and needs of trail runners. From training tips and techniques to race recaps and gear reviews, these podcasts leave no stone unturned. They delve into the nitty-gritty details of trail running, discussing everything from nutrition and hydration to injury prevention and recovery. By offering comprehensive information on various aspects of the sport, these podcasts become an invaluable resource for trail runners seeking to improve their performance and expand their knowledge.

Furthermore, the length and frequency of episodes are important considerations when evaluating the greatness of a trail running podcast. While some listeners prefer shorter episodes that can be consumed in one sitting, others enjoy longer, in-depth discussions that dive deeper into the topics at hand. The best podcasts strike a balance, providing episodes of varying lengths to cater to different preferences. Additionally, regular updates and consistent release schedules demonstrate the commitment of the hosts to their audience, creating a sense of anticipation and reliability.

Last but not least, great trail running podcasts incorporate inspiring stories and personal experiences. These stories not only captivate the listeners but also serve as a source of motivation and encouragement. They showcase the triumphs, challenges, and resilience of trail runners, inspiring others to push their limits and embrace the transformative power of trail running. By weaving these narratives into the fabric of their episodes, the best trail running podcasts foster a sense of community and camaraderie among listeners, making the experience even more enriching.

In summary, the best trail running podcasts are a combination of engaging hosts, diverse guests, high production quality, comprehensive topics, suitable episode lengths, and inspiring narratives. These podcasts go above and beyond to provide valuable insights, guidance, and motivation to trail runners of all levels. Now that we have explored what makes a trail running podcast great, let’s dive into the top trail running podcasts that are making waves in the running community.

Top Trail Running Podcasts

In the vast sea of trail running podcasts, it can be challenging to navigate and find the ones that truly stand out. To help you in your quest for the best trail running podcasts, we have curated a list of the top shows that consistently deliver exceptional content and engage their listeners. These podcasts have garnered a loyal following and have become go-to resources for trail runners seeking inspiration, advice, and entertainment.

1. “Trail Runner Nation”

Overview: “Trail Runner Nation” is a podcast that brings together a community of trail runners, experts, and enthusiasts. Hosted by Don Freeman, Scott Warr, and Andy Jones-Wilkins, this podcast has been a staple in the trail running world since 2011. With over 400 episodes and counting, “Trail Runner Nation” covers a wide range of topics, including training tips, race strategies, nutrition, and mental preparation.

Highlighted episodes and topics covered: The podcast has featured renowned guests such as Dean Karnazes, Courtney Dauwalter, and Kilian Jornet. Some highlighted episodes include discussions on the benefits of hill training, strategies for running your first ultra-marathon, and interviews with race directors sharing insights into the world of trail races.

Special features or segments: “Trail Runner Nation” offers unique segments like “Ask the Coach,” where listeners can submit their questions to be answered by experienced coaches. They also occasionally conduct “crossover” episodes with other podcasts, bringing together different perspectives and experiences.

Listener reviews and ratings: With a consistently high rating and positive reviews from listeners, “Trail Runner Nation” has established itself as a reliable and informative podcast in the trail running community.

2. “The Ginger Runner”

Introduction: Hosted by Ethan Newberry, aka “The Ginger Runner,” this podcast is a mix of interviews, race recaps, gear reviews, and captivating storytelling. Ethan’s passion for trail running shines through in each episode as he shares his personal experiences and brings on guests who share their own unique journeys.

Notable guests and episodes: “The Ginger Runner” has featured conversations with elite athletes like Anna Frost, Dylan Bowman, and Gary Robbins. Notable episodes include in-depth race recaps from iconic races such as Western States 100 and UTMB, as well as gear reviews that provide valuable insights into the latest trail running equipment.

Focus on race coverage and event discussions: One aspect that sets “The Ginger Runner” apart is its extensive coverage of trail races. Ethan travels to various events around the world, capturing the energy and excitement of these races through his vlogs and podcast episodes. Listeners can expect detailed race reports and firsthand accounts of the challenges and triumphs faced by athletes.

Community engagement and involvement: “The Ginger Runner” fosters a strong sense of community by engaging with listeners through live streams, Q&A sessions, and collaborations with other content creators. This interactive approach allows for a deeper connection between the host and the audience, creating a supportive and inclusive environment.

3. “Ultrarunner Podcast”

Overview: Hosted by Eric Schranz, the “Ultrarunner Podcast” focuses on the world of ultra-distance trail running. With a blend of interviews, race recaps, and discussions on training strategies, this podcast caters specifically to those who are drawn to the challenges and adventures of ultra-running.

Emphasis on ultra-distance trail running: The podcast delves deep into the nuances of ultra-running, covering topics such as race tactics, mental resilience, and recovery techniques. The interviews with elite ultra-runners provide valuable insights into their training methodologies, nutrition plans, and race-day strategies.

Interviews with renowned athletes and race directors: “Ultrarunner Podcast” has hosted conversations with top athletes like Camille Herron, Jim Walmsley, and Courtney Dauwalter, giving listeners the opportunity to learn from the best in the sport. Additionally, the podcast features interviews with race directors, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the organization and logistics of ultra-distance events.

Training advice and race strategy discussions: Eric Schranz often dives into the intricacies of training for ultra-distance races, sharing tips and techniques that can help both new and experienced runners in their quest to conquer longer distances. The podcast also explores race strategy discussions, analyzing the tactics employed by successful ultra-runners and providing insights for listeners looking to improve their performance.

4. “Science of Ultra”

Introduction: Hosted by Dr. Shawn Bearden, a renowned exercise physiologist and ultra-runner, “Science of Ultra” delves into the scientific aspects of ultra-running. This podcast provides evidence-based insights and practical advice to help listeners optimize their training, nutrition, and recovery.

Focus on scientific research and evidence-based insights: Dr. Shawn Bearden uses his expertise to explore topics such as the effects of altitude on performance, strategies for optimizing nutrition and hydration, and the impact of sleep on recovery. The podcast features interviews with leading researchers and experts in the field, providing listeners with a deeper understanding of the science behind ultra-running.

Discussions on nutrition, physiology, and injury prevention: “Science of Ultra” goes beyond the surface-level discussions and delves into the intricate details of ultra-running. Listeners can expect episodes that explore topics like fueling strategies during long-distance events, the physiological adaptations that occur during ultra-training, and effective methods for preventing and managing injuries.

Q&A sessions with experts in the field: Dr. Shawn Bearden frequently includes Q&A sessions in his podcast episodes, where he addresses common questions and concerns raised by listeners. This interactive approach allows for a deeper exploration of specific topics and provides practical advice backed by scientific research.

5. “Trail Running Women”

Overview: Hosted by Hilary Spires, “Trail Running Women” is a podcast dedicated to empowering and inspiring women in the trail running community. With a focus on inclusivity, body positivity, and mental health, this podcast offers a unique perspective on the sport.

Emphasis on women’s experiences in trail running: “Trail Running Women” highlights the stories and challenges faced by women in the trail running world. From discussions on body image and self-confidence to conversations about balancing motherhood and training, the podcast creates a safe space for women to share their experiences and find inspiration.

Topics covering mental health, body image, and inclusivity: In addition to the physical aspects of trail running, “Trail Running Women” explores the mental and emotional elements of the sport. Episodes tackle topics such as overcoming imposter syndrome, managing anxiety during races, and fostering a supportive and inclusive community within the trail running space.

Inspiring stories and interviews with female trail runners: The podcast features interviews with female trail runners who have overcome obstacles and achieved remarkable feats. These stories serve as a source of motivation and encouragement, empowering women to chase their trail running dreams and break barriers.

With these top trail running podcasts, you can tap into a wealth of knowledge, inspiration, and practical advice to elevate your trail running journey. Whether you’re seeking expert training tips, race recaps, scientific insights, or a sense of community, these podcasts offer a diverse range of content that will keep you engaged and motivated. So, grab your headphones, hit the trails, and let these podcasts accompany you on your next adventure.

How to Choose the Right Trail Running Podcast for You

With an abundance of trail running podcasts available, it can be overwhelming to narrow down your choices and find the right one for your specific needs and interests. While the top trail running podcasts mentioned earlier are highly regarded and offer exceptional content, it’s essential to consider your own preferences and goals when selecting the podcasts to add to your playlist. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing the right trail running podcast for you:

1. Consider your trail running goals and interests

Before diving into the plethora of trail running podcasts available, take a moment to reflect on your goals and interests as a trail runner. Are you looking to improve your speed and endurance? Are you seeking inspiration and motivation from the experiences of seasoned athletes? Do you have specific questions or challenges related to trail running that you’d like to explore further? Identifying your goals and interests will help you narrow down the podcasts that align with your specific needs.

For example, if you’re a beginner trail runner, you may benefit from podcasts that focus on training tips, foundational knowledge, and advice for getting started in the sport. On the other hand, if you’re an experienced trail runner looking to take your training to the next level, podcasts that delve into advanced training techniques, race strategy discussions, and interviews with elite athletes may be more suitable for you.

2. Evaluate the podcast’s format and episode length

Trail running podcasts come in various formats, ranging from interviews with guests to solo monologues by the hosts. Consider what format you prefer and what resonates with you the most. Some listeners enjoy the conversational and interactive nature of interviews, while others appreciate the focused and informative approach of solo episodes.

Additionally, take into account the length of each episode. Some podcasts have shorter episodes that can be consumed in one sitting, while others have longer episodes that provide in-depth discussions on a particular topic. Think about your schedule and how much time you can allocate to listening to podcasts. Finding a podcast with episode lengths that align with your preferences and availability will enhance your listening experience.

3. Read reviews and check ratings on popular podcast platforms

One effective way to gauge the quality and reception of a trail running podcast is by reading reviews and checking ratings on popular podcast platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher. Pay attention to the feedback provided by fellow listeners who share their thoughts and experiences. Positive reviews and high ratings are indicators of a podcast’s reliability, relevance, and overall appeal.

However, keep in mind that reviews and ratings are subjective, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Take the time to read multiple reviews and assess the common themes or aspects that listeners appreciate. This will help you gain a more well-rounded understanding of the podcast and whether it aligns with your preferences.

4. Seek recommendations from fellow trail runners or online communities

One of the best ways to discover hidden gems in the world of trail running podcasts is by seeking recommendations from fellow trail runners or online communities. Engage with your running buddies, join trail running forums, or participate in social media groups dedicated to trail running. Ask for podcast recommendations and inquire about their favorite episodes or hosts. This firsthand feedback from like-minded individuals can lead you to podcasts that may not be as well-known but still offer valuable insights and perspectives.

Online communities, such as Reddit or Facebook groups, can be particularly helpful in finding niche podcasts that cater to specific interests within the trail running community. Whether you’re interested in minimalist trail running, vegan nutrition for runners, or trail running adventures in a specific region, there’s likely a podcast out there that covers those topics. By tapping into the collective knowledge and experiences of fellow trail runners, you can uncover podcasts that align perfectly with your specific interests.

5. Sample episodes from different podcasts

Lastly, the best way to determine whether a trail running podcast is the right fit for you is by sampling episodes from different podcasts. Many podcasts have their own websites or social media platforms where you can find a list of episodes or even listen to sample clips. Take advantage of this opportunity to get a feel for the podcast’s style, content, and overall vibe. Pay attention to the hosts’ delivery, the production quality, and whether the topics covered resonate with you.

By sampling episodes from different podcasts, you can quickly identify the ones that capture your interest and leave you wanting more. You may find that you connect with certain hosts or appreciate a particular podcast’s focus on a specific aspect of trail running. Trust your instincts and choose the podcasts that resonate with you the most.

In conclusion, choosing the right trail running podcast involves considering your goals, evaluating the podcast’s format and length, reading reviews and ratings, seeking recommendations from fellow trail runners, and sampling episodes from different podcasts. Remember, the beauty of podcasts is that they offer a range of perspectives and styles, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. With a bit of exploration and experimentation, you’ll be able to curate a playlist of trail running podcasts that enrich your running journey and keep you inspired mile after mile.

Additional Resources for Trail Runners

In addition to trail running podcasts, there are various other resources available that can further enhance your trail running experience. Whether you’re seeking more information, looking to connect with like-minded individuals, or simply craving additional sources of inspiration, these resources provide a wealth of knowledge and opportunities for engagement. Here are some additional resources that every trail runner should explore:

A. Trail running blogs and websites for further reading

Trail running blogs and websites offer a treasure trove of information, tips, and personal experiences from trail runners around the world. These platforms provide in-depth articles, training plans, gear reviews, and race recaps that can supplement the content covered in podcasts. Some prominent trail running blogs and websites worth exploring include:

  • iRunFar: iRunFar is a leading online resource for trail running news, race coverage, and gear reviews. The website features articles written by experienced trail runners, providing valuable insights into various aspects of the sport.
  • Ultrarunning Magazine: Ultrarunning Magazine is a print and online publication dedicated to ultra-distance running. Their website offers a vast archive of articles covering training, nutrition, gear, and race reports, catering to both seasoned ultra-runners and those aspiring to tackle longer distances.
  • Trail Sisters: Trail Sisters is a community-driven platform that advocates for women in trail running. Their website features a collection of articles addressing topics such as training, injury prevention, mental health, and inclusivity within the sport.
  • The Outdoor Society: The Outdoor Society is a platform that celebrates outdoor adventure, including trail running. Their website offers trail guides, trip reports, and inspiring stories to inspire and educate trail runners of all levels.

Exploring these blogs and websites can provide you with a wealth of additional knowledge and perspectives on trail running, complementing the information gained from podcasts and offering a well-rounded understanding of the sport.

B. Social media accounts and communities to connect with fellow trail runners

Social media has become a powerful tool for connecting with fellow trail runners, sharing experiences, and accessing a wealth of information. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter offer opportunities to engage with the trail running community on a global scale. Here are some social media accounts and communities worth following:

  • Trail Sisters: Trail Sisters has an active presence on social media, sharing inspiring stories, training tips, and promoting inclusivity within the sport. Their Instagram account, in particular, showcases diverse voices and experiences in trail running.
  • Ultrarunning Magazine: Ultrarunning Magazine maintains an engaging presence on social media platforms, sharing race coverage, training insights, and interviews with elite athletes. Their content provides a deeper understanding of ultra-distance trail running.
  • #TrailRunning: The hashtag #TrailRunning on Instagram and Twitter is a gateway to a vast community of trail runners who share their experiences, training tips, and stunning trail photos. By following this hashtag, you can tap into a constant stream of inspiration and connect with like-minded individuals.

Engaging with these social media accounts and communities allows you to stay up to date with the latest trends, learn from experienced runners, and connect with fellow trail enthusiasts who share your passion for the sport.

C. Recommended books and documentaries on trail running

For those who prefer to dive into long-form content, there are several books and documentaries available that explore the world of trail running. These resources offer deep insights into the sport, captivating stories, and valuable lessons from the trails. Here are some recommended books and documentaries to consider:

  • “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall: This bestselling book chronicles McDougall’s journey to the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons and explores the transformative power of running.
  • “Training Essentials for Ultrarunning” by Jason Koop: Written by renowned ultrarunning coach Jason Koop, this book provides comprehensive guidance on training, nutrition, race strategy, and mental preparation for ultra-distance events.
  • “Finding Traction” (documentary): This documentary follows the journey of ultrarunner Nikki Kimball as she attempts to set the record on Vermont’s Long Trail. It offers a profound exploration of the mental and physical challenges of ultra-running.
  • “The Runner’s High” (documentary): This documentary explores the world of trail running through the stories of four diverse runners, showcasing the transformative power of the sport.

These books and documentaries provide a deeper understanding of the trail running community, the mindset of athletes, and the challenges faced on the trails. They offer an immersive experience that can inspire and motivate you on your own trail running journey.

D. Trail running events and races worth attending

Participating in trail running events and races is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the trail running community, challenge yourself, and connect with fellow runners. From local trail races to iconic ultramarathons, there are events for every level of runner. Research and explore trail running events in your area or consider traveling to renowned races to experience the thrill of the trails. Some notable trail running events and races around the world include:

  • Western States 100: A legendary 100-mile race that traverses the rugged trails of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.
  • UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc): This prestigious race takes place in the Alps, covering 170 kilometers (105 miles) with over 10,000 meters (32,800 feet) of elevation gain.
  • Transvulcania: Held on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, this race features challenging volcanic terrain and stunning coastal views.
  • Hardrock 100: Known for its extreme altitude and technical terrain, this race takes participants through the stunning San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

Participating in trail running events not only allows you to challenge yourself physically but also provides an opportunity to connect with the vibrant trail running community and create lasting memories.

E. Equipment and gear guides for trail runners

Selecting the right equipment and gear is crucial for a successful and enjoyable trail running experience. There are numerous resources available to guide you in choosing the appropriate footwear, clothing, and accessories. Here are a few resources to consider:

  • Gear guides and reviews: Many trail running websites and magazines publish gear guides and reviews that provide detailed insights into the latest trail running shoes, hydration packs, GPS watches, and more. These guides help you make informed decisions when purchasing new gear.
  • Local specialty running stores: Visit your local specialty running store, where knowledgeable staff can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs and the terrain you’ll be running on.
  • Online communities and forums: Engaging with online communities and forums dedicated to trail running allows you to seek advice and recommendations from experienced trail runners who can share their insights on equipment and gear.

By utilizing these resources, you can ensure that you have the right equipment to enhance your comfort, safety, and performance on the trails.

In conclusion, trail running offers a multitude of resources beyond podcasts to further enrich your experience. Exploring trail running blogs, engaging with social media communities, reading books, attending races, and accessing gear guides are all valuable ways to expand your knowledge, connect with fellow runners, and find inspiration. These additional resources will complement the insights gained from trail running podcasts, creating a comprehensive toolkit to support your trail running journey. So, dive into these resources, embrace the community, and continue to explore the vast world of trail running.